Original Caricature of Contemporary Hollywood Stars
No place of publication: no publisher, undated (c. late 1930s). Pen and ink on paper, approximately 17 1/2 x 11”, matted framed and glazed, overall approximately 24 x 17”. Signed “Kroll” in the lower left and captioned in pencil (by the artist or by an editor) “Lunch counter at Shwabs’ Drug Store on Sunset Boulevard/ Meeting place for Hollywood’s stars. Box offices [sic] number one, Mickey Rooney, gets an ice cream.” The drawing depicts Clark Gable (sandwich in hand), Edward G. Robinson (with cigar), Rooney (with an ice cream cone), Joan Crawford, and Stan Laurel (glass in hand),all seated at the counter while a figure in the background is mixing a drink. The artist left Germany (a highly hostile place for someone caricaturing prominent figures) and arrived in the U.S. via England. He was a prolific caricaturist for magazines and newspapers. While mostly caricaturing Hollywood at this point, he soon drew political and other public figures, often in pastel. It is a matter of taste and preference to be sure, but this cataloguer favors his pen and ink work.